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Retention & Student Learning: Everybody’s Business!

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  1. Rachelle Darabi Associate Provost for Student Development & Public Affairs Michael Frizell Director of Student Learning Services Editor, The Learning Assistance Review, National College Learning Center Association Mike Wood Director of First-year Programs Brooke Whisenhunt Associate Professor, Psychology Retention & Student Learning:Everybody’s Business!

  2. DISCUSS:How do you define “Student Success” in your department? Your college? For the University?

  3. A definition of student success:

  4. Our Students at a glance…FALL 2012

  5. Our Students at a glance…FALL 2012 All information: Bear Intelligence

  6. Seven myths about student retention… Taking student retention seriously: Rethinking the first-year of the university(Tinto, 2009). • In a 2009 keynote address on the topic, Dr. Vincent Tinto observed that most universities do not take student retention seriously. In other words, it often remains “at the margins”. Often considered “add-on” activities-e.g., create a new course/program to deal with the problem.

  7. Persistence at Missouri State University 1st Term GPA Fall to Fall “Sometimes you’ve got to dig a little deeper.”

  8. The Cost Benefit of Retention

  9. The Cost Benefit of Retention

  10. The Cost Benefit of Retention *Above calculations computed using the Noel-Levitz Retention Revenue Estimator for Four-Year Colleges and Universities, accessible at the following link: https://www.noellevitz.com/documents/shared/Student_Retention/RetentionRevenueEstimator4year.pdf

  11. Dr. Kane’s Study Dr. Tom Kane earned his Ph.D. in 1996 from George Mason University. His research interests include Goals, Self-Confidence, Performance, and Leadership. He was the Faculty Senate Chair (2007-2008) at MSU. Assisted NFL teams with drafting players; worked with NWCA to train coaches to develop leadership skills in student-athletes. Teaches the on-line Developing Sport Team Leaders a 1-credit course at MSU. His personal interests include fishing, golfing, biking, coaching youth sports, and reading about history. Dr. Tom Kane

  12. Tracking Freshmen in 1st Year • 526 Frosh surveyed first 10 days @ MSU PSY 121 • 369 mid-semester follow-up survey (70%/57%) • 23 w/ lower than 2.00 GPA dropped out by end of first year (academic withdraw) • 97 with higher than 2.00 GPA dropped out end of first year (voluntary withdrawal) • 120 total dropped out (22.8%)– compared to MSU rate of (26%) (1/4th 8 to 9 students in your class)

  13. Pretty Simple Bottom Line • Paths toward wanting to leave MSU go through: • Intentions to leave • Academic performance • Predicting students who want to leave MSU best (by far): Affective Commitment to MSU • Mostly Emotional: Feelings about MSU, liking student life beyond classroom, homesickness

  14. Measured • Demographics • Gender • Declared/undeclared • Married? Children? • Older/younger sibs in college • State/local • Work hrs • Job on campus? • Parent/household income • Mother education • Father education • Academic aptitude • ACT/HS GPA

  15. Measured • Motivation • Semester goal difficulty • Academic self-efficacy (confidence) • Others… • Career Motivation • Emotional/rational • Career relevant to college performance? • *Commitment (mid semester) • Emotional attachment to MSU • Rational attachment to MSU • *Satisfaction (mid 1st semester) • Academic programs • Student life • *Homesickness (mid 1st semester)

  16. Two Paths to Dropping Out:Bottom line Academic Achievement Drop outfrom MSU (20.5%) All Other Factors Intentions To Leave

  17. Affective Commitment @ MSU • ONE good positive mentoring experience • Early success– what can you do?! • Positive early social experiences • Students involved & participating • Student feels valued & important • Meaning in being @ MSU  to others • Meaning in being @ MSU  to self • Identification w MSU values • Sell MSU…

  18. QUESTION:“What are you currently doing in your college to promote student learning and success?”

  19. Four Conditions for Student Success • ACHIEVEMENT: Students are likely to persist in settings that hold high and clear expectations for student achievement. (Often not the case, according to NSSE data) 2) ENVIRONMENT: Support an environment that promotes student retention. e.g., academic and social support. Basic skills courses, tutoring, study groups, academic support programs Also counseling, mentoring, multicultural student centers are crucial. 3) REINFORCEMENT: Feedback is a condition for student success. Feedback from faculty, staff, and students, including entry assessment of learning skills, and “early warning systems” to identify students having academic difficulties in time to make a difference. (Currently previewing MAP WORKS Program). 4) ENGAGEMENT: Student involvement, or engagement, is a condition for student success. The more students are academically and socially involved, the more likely they are to persist and graduate.

  20. Remember: Education of our students is the ultimate goal, not merely retention. Retention and graduation are merely byproducts of effective student learning. The educational tools of engagement: cooperative and problem-based learning, service-learning, and learning communities are a few examples of successful pedagogies. • What works in student retention? ACT (2010). • Respondents from all colleges in the study reported retention practices responsible for the greatest contribution to retention fell into three main categories. • 1. First-year programs • 2. Academic advising • 3. Learning support

  21. Our Focus…

  22. Encouraging an Affective Commitment at MSU

  23. High-Impact Partnerships on Campus:

  24. DISCUSS:“Where would you like to be? What barriers are you encountering? What resources do you need?” Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (c. 1943)

  25. PSY 121’s Course Transformation Project Associate Professor Education • PhD, 2002, Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge • MA, 2000, Clinical Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge • BA, 1997, Psychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Teaching • Abnormal Psychology • Individual Intelligence Testing • Psychological Assessment • Psychopathology • Psychology of Eating (Intersession) Research and professional interests • Sociocultural influences in the development of eating disorders • Assessment of body image • Eating disorders in athletes Current Research Projects: • Perception of healthiness/attractiveness of women with anorexia nervosa • Investigation of the current trend in ideal body size in the mass media • Review of the literature on the mass media’s impact on body image • Development and validation of a measure of body image in males Dr. Brooke Whisenhunt

  26. PSY 121 Course Redesign Psychology Team Members Danae Hudson Brooke Whisenhunt Carol Shoptaugh Rachel Happel Ann Rost

  27. The Traditional PSY 121 • General education course • Lecture only model • 153 students • 1 faculty instructor • 65% full time faculty (tenure-track or instructor) • 35% per course • Instructor: Student Ratio = 1:153 • Assessments primarily multiple choice exams

  28. PSY 121 Challenges • DFW rate • Similar to other 1st year, challenging, general education courses • Course Drift • Lack of standardization of materials • Lack of standardization in grading • Traditional sections = approximately 34% improvement in comprehensive knowledge from pretest to posttest • Barriers to introducing creative pedagogies due to limited course staff

  29. Blended Course Design

  30. Redesigned PSY 121 Organization Instructors: Student Ratio 1:43

  31. One Week of Activities

  32. Pedagogical Enhancements • Undergraduate Learning Assistants (ULAs) • Facilitate learning labs and group experiential learning • Tailored Lectures • Based on student performance on online study plan post-test • Clickers and Peer Instruction • Used to increase engagement, test knowledge of concepts, facilitate discussion among peers

  33. Learning Outcomes

  34. Course Completion/DFW Rates • Traditional (Fall 2011-2 sections) • A, B, C, or D = 87% • DFW = 24% • Redesign (Fall 2012-5 sections) • A, B, C, or D = 83% • DFW = 24%

  35. Combined Grade Distribution

  36. Student Feedback Students Liked: -classroom activities and demonstrations, clickers, undergraduate learning assistants, MyPsychLab Students Disliked: -Discussion boards, number of assignments, MyPsychLab

  37. Course Revisions Spring 2013 • Eliminated discussion boards and replaced with mandatory, 1 hour long study sessions with the ULAs in BearCLAW • Eliminated 1 weekly assignment in MyPsychLab • Simplified the homework schedule Fall 2013 • Schedule course for traditional hours (2x/wk) and use the off-days for exams • SLAs/ULAs can use the room for additional help/study sessions

  38. SUPPORT FOR RETENTION INITIATIVES Note: Picture above is not a recommended retention strategy.

  39. “A positive mentoring experience” Academic Advisement Academic Advisement Center Personnel

  40. Best Practices for Advising in Departments/Advisement Centers • Structure academic advising processes to meet student needs and best use faculty/staff talents. • Divide faculty advising loads equitably. • Designate individual(s) to receive specialized training and coordinate advisement of special student populations. • Promote, encourage, and track the ongoing training and professional development of advisors. • Develop effective methods to communicate with advisees. • Designate one person to manage provision of advisement services. • Ensure that quality advising is appropriately available to all students. Implement a consistent plan to assess advisement and use results to facilitate improvements. • Devise a method to follow up with graduates. • Develop a concrete system to recognize and reward faculty/staff dedicated to providing quality academic advising.

  41. “Identification with MSU values” Faculty/Staff Involvement Teaching GEP 101

  42. “Early success – what can you do?” SERVICES • Classroom Technology • Digital Professor Academy • Instructional Design & Consultation • Academic Media Production • Showcase on Teaching and Learning RESOURCES • Best Practices for Teaching and Learning • Course Design • Instructional & Technology Blogs • Other Resources

  43. “Students are involved and participating” • 2011 – 2012 • Total Service-Learning Hours = 60,812 • Total Value of Service Hours = $1,143,265.60 2011 – 2012 Academic Year Service-Learning: • 150 Faculty participated in integrated and component • 288 Students in component = 12 ,241.25 hours of service • 1970 Students in integrated = 48,570.75 hours of service Source: Campus Compact http://www.compact.org/resources/the-effects-of-service-learning-on-retention/8113/

  44. “Positive early social experiences” Retention of First Time Students Declared as COAL Majors: There were 561 first time students with COAL majors declared at the fall 2011 census date. Of those, 366 attended SOAR in the summer of 2011. The table below shows the retention rates of COAL students who attended SOAR and those who didn’t attend. These data are divided by student type (new in college vs. transfer) and by COAL departments.

  45. “Students involved and participating” PASS Program • After a year-long study, Dr. Erin Buchanan, Faculty Fellow for the PASS Program, concluded the retention % for students who participated in PASS: • Summer 11  89% • Fall 11   88.3% • Spring 12  89.4% • Significantly higher than the university average overall. PASS/SI DFW Rates: Fall 2011 – Spring 2012 Comparable Courses = Sections of the same course (i.e. ECO 155, PSY 121, BMS 110, 307, and 308, CHM 160 and 170, etc.) that did not enjoy PASS support.

  46. Access to Retention Data:Our Ongoing Challenge

  47. “Early success” Jump START(Summer Transition Academic and Resources Program) REQUIREMENTS  Attend Summer School SOAR June 7, 2013.  Attend the eight-week summer session June 11 to August 3.  Enroll in 7-8 credit hours of rigorous course work including math, English,andGEP 101 (First Year Foundations).  Take part in special activities provided.  Be officially “undeclared” but work with your academic advisor to explore majors and plan fall classes.  Spend a minimum of five hours per week in the Bear CLAW (Center for Learning and Writing).  Achieve a minimum 2.5 G.P.A. in 7-8 hours in order to continue enrollment in fall 2013.

  48. Summer 2012 Jump START Program *48/64 students met the requirements of the program. Average MSU GPA: 2.94. 75% returned for fall 2012.